Caregiver's Home Companion Caring for someone who has trouble hearing the phone?
 SEARCH Go
Read Fred's Previous Articles

April 6, 2012
Question for Aging Men: Will Testosterone Spark Virility?


March 30, 2012
Is Dad Still Road-Worthy – Or Is It Time to Take the Keys?


March 23, 2012
Coping and Recovering from Knee Replacement


March 16, 2012
Lactose Intolerance May Not Spell Osteoporosis


Take Our PollThe Caregiver's Marketplace

Shop Now in the
Caregiver's e-Mall

Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

So, click on the dark blue Caregiver's e-Mall buttons throughout our site and enter a comfortable, secure shopping experience with major merchants while avoiding the hassle of having to find a parking place or matching your shopping hours with someone else's. Our mall is just a click away and is open 24 hours every day.

Watch for additional stores opening in the e-Mall soon!

Posted: July 03, 2009

Keeping Seniors Healthy

Donating Blood in Your Senior Years

Q.  My dad is preparing to have surgery in a few months. He was wondering if he can donate blood to himself in advance?

A. Yes you can. This is called “autologous” blood donation. It’s done in the weeks before non-emergency surgery. The blood is stored until the operation. Autologous donation is most often employed in surgery on bones, blood vessels, the urinary tract, and the heart, when the likelihood of transfusion is high.

This form of blood donation is good for the patient, but it’s beneficial to society, too.

People over the age of 69 require half of all whole blood and red blood cells transfused, according to the National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC). Giving blood to yourself cuts down on the demand for blood.

Typically, each donated unit of blood, referred to as whole blood, is separated into multiple components, such as red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and antihemophilic factor, for transfusion to individuals with different needs.

With an aging population and advances in medical treatments requiring blood transfusions, the demand for blood is increasing. On any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed.

Volunteers donate almost all the blood transfused in the United States Using current screening and donation procedures, a growing number of blood banks have found blood donation by seniors to be safe and practical.

To be eligible to donate blood, a person must be in good health. In general, donors must weigh at least 110 pounds. Most blood banks have no upper age limit. Donors are screened for AIDS, hepatitis, other diseases, and other possible problems.

Adult males have about 12 pints of blood in their circulation and adult females have about nine pints. The donor's body replenishes the fluid lost from donation in about 24 hours. The red blood cells that are lost are generally replaced in a few weeks. Whole blood can be donated once every eight weeks.

What is the most common blood type?

The approximate distribution of blood types in the US population is as follows. Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups:

O Rh-positive --- 38 percent
O Rh-negative --- 7 percent
A Rh-positive --- 34 percent
A Rh-negative --- 6 percent
B Rh-positive --- 9 percent
B Rh-negative --- 2 percent
AB Rh-positive --- 3 percent
AB Rh-negative --- 1 percent

In an emergency, anyone can receive type O red blood cells, and type AB individuals can receive red blood cells of any ABO type. Therefore, people with type O blood are known as “universal donors,” and those with type AB blood are known as “universal recipients.”

 


Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey. He has written two published novels: Saltwater Taffy, and Local Angles. You can send your health-related questions to Fred at fred@healthygeezer.com.

© 2009 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.
Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Back to Top


Prescription Card

Free Survival Guide

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2019. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.